These large, grand, picturesque hardwoods combine long life with handsome bark and colorful fall foliage. Many forms of wildlife depend on the nuts for food. Unfortunately, hickories are seldom sold, because long taproots make them hard to transplant. But if hickories grow on your property, by all means conserve them. Leaves divided featherwise into leaflets. Inconspicuous flowers are followed by nuts enclosed in husks that usually break away at maturity. Trees are too large for smaller yards but are attractive where space is available. All develop deep taproots, so they should be planted while young and not moved later.
C. glabra. PIGNUT HICKORY. Native to southern and eastern U.S. Grows to 5060 ft., sometimes 100 ft., with a canopy nearly as broad. Leaves, 810 in. long, with five to nine leaflets, are retained into late fall and turn a beautiful orange, brown, and yellow, even in the Lower South. Smooth bark. Nuts are bitter.
C. illinoensis. See Pecan
C. laciniosa. SHELLBARK HICKORY. Native from New York to Iowa, south to Tennessee and Oklahoma; found in lowlands that are periodically flooded. Similar to C. ovata but smaller. Grows slowly to 6080 ft. tall, 4060 ft. wide. Leaves usually divided into seven leaflets. Largest of hickory nuts; sweet, hard shelled. Regular to ample water.
C. ovata. SHAGBARK HICKORY. Native to eastern U.S. Typically grows to 60100 ft. tall and 3040 ft. wide. Most conspicuous feature is the gray, shaggy bark, with large plates curving out and away from the trunk. The hard-shelled nuts are sweet. Leaves typically have five leaflets; autumn foliage is an attractive bright yellow. Wood is tough and hard.